Dental service organizations, meet your new best friend: the dental membership plan.
When you run a DSO, opportunities abound. But so does everything else. Marketing, building out teams, opening and onboarding new offices, organizing patient files—it all gets more involved as your umbrella grows.
Although the very framework of a DSO is built on the idea that those who specialize in organizational systems, business, tech, and marketing can focus on their thing—while dentists do what dentists do—no one would argue that we couldn’t use a few more efficiencies. That’s where dental membership plans shine.
Today, we’re going to cover three reasons why Dental Membership Plans are the perfect pairing for DSOs and group practices.
1. Dental Membership Plans help your offices operate more efficiently.
In-house plans allow your offices to deliver quality preventive care to their patients without the hassles of insurance. By its very nature, having a plan reduces the number of phone calls, tracking down payments and claims, etc. on your practices’ plates. And after all, isn’t that sort of streamlining core to the principle of a dental service organization?
Let’s break it down.
You offer patients the option to pay monthly or annually for a plan that gets them, let’s say, two cleanings, two exams, and one x-ray a year plus a discount on restorative procedures. They are charged on a schedule, so the front desk team doesn’t have to hound the patient for payment or hound the insurance company for claim info. Time: saved.
When you work with a software platform like DentalHQ, this goes one step further. Your members’ billing is automated, renewals are automated, and all member-related communication is automated right there in the platform. Whether you have one office, three offices, or 49 offices, your organization will save a ton of time.
Meanwhile, you’ll save time on marketing efforts too, which is a big deal for a DSO (you have a lot of people in a lot of places to do outreach on). We offer email templates to reach out to local businesses and community groups through our BusinessCONNECT™ and CommunityCONNECT™ programs. It’s a great resource. More on that...now...
2. Dental Membership Plans inspire new marketing tactics.
When you’ve got in-house membership plans in your suite of services, a whole new world of marketing approaches is opened up to you.
For starters, you’ll be tapping into an audience that might have been difficult to reach before: the uninsured. Dental membership plans give uninsured patients a way to pay slowly over time, which is much more manageable than a $300 payment every visit, and showcasing this in e-blasts, postcard invites, and social media posts will undoubtedly bring new faces to your practices’ doors. Better yet, most uninsured patients you already have don’t come to your offices regularly, so there’s a huge untapped market right there in their charts.
In-house membership plans also offer enticing deals for small businesses who might not be able to afford to offer their employees traditional insurance, as well as community groups, like PTAs and sports clubs.
Dental membership plans also provide an anchor for the entire patient acquisition process that doesn’t require steep, revenue-reducing discounts and special deals. Get patients to become Members of your practices, and they’ll have no reason to discount-shop anywhere else. It’s a win for the dentist and a win for the patient (for more great examples of marketing tips for dental practices, check out our Ultimate Membership Plan Marketing Checklist).
Which brings us to our final point:
3. Dental membership plans make everyone happy.
That sounds nice, doesn’t it? Being a dental service organization means that you have a lot to focus on: procurement, marketing, technology, finance, etc. For obvious reasons, that’s a great thing. But, it can sometimes hamper your ability to offer personalized service. Hence, the DSO’s sometimes reputation for being “corporate dentistry.”
When it comes to health care, this is a big issue. In order to be comfortable and confident in a healthcare provider, patients need to feel like they have concern for their well-being. This presents one of the greatest challenges you will face as a dental service organization, and dental membership plans can help to solve it.
If a potential patient is skeptical that they’ll be more than just a chart number, explain your customized membership plan to help them manage and save money. Now, you’ve not only helped them figure out a personalized (there’s that all-important buzzword) financial solution. You’ve also eliminated a source of lifelong frustration: the insurance company.
This is also a big deal because of the ever-increasing percentage of people (especially in the aftermath of pandemic-related job loss) who either aren’t employed or take advantage of less conventional employment situations.
When dental service organizations partner with dental membership plan platforms, the results are awesome. Everyone on your team saves time, new marketing tactics unfold organically, and dentist, patient, and DSO are pleased as punch.
To learn more about how you can make this vision a reality—benefiting your organization, the practices within it, and their patients—get in touch!